January Update

With so many things going on within The Tipping Point and my personal life, and things happening so quickly - I got a request from a friend to summarize my monthly progress and experiences. Hopefully, these updates will help you get more clarity on what I do, and why I do the things I do.

2017 started off as an intensely emotional roller coaster ride. Then again, my life has been that way for quite a while now. I embraced all of the ups with gratitude, and all of the downs with reflection and self-growth.

Watching 2016 die was a nice way to start the year. 2016 was the year of transition - going from a very sick university student drowning in shame to the founder of an advocacy movement. It was a year of great self-growth but I was glad to see it go.

I started 2017 on a boy diet. I wanted to focus on my work and learn to fall in love with myself. So I deleted all the online dating apps, got myself out of a very casual but one-sided relationship, and started taking myself out on dates. I took myself out for nice dinners and read about discipline and "doing the work" in the book, The War of Art. I learned about the how Resistance prevented us from our creative centres and how to overcome it.

The Tipping Point made a lot of progress within this first month of 2017. I recruited a formal core team, including a practicum student. I am so grateful for these friends and their dedication to this cause and to me. The Tipping Point partnered with City Hub Initiative, a non-profit that provides free space for other non-profits and socially good organizations/startups. Daily Hive Vancouver and The Ubyssey both published articles on The Tipping Point and the new peer-empowerment program, Tip Labs. I also hosted a launch event for this program and despite my teary worries, it went well and interest in enrollment is high.

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January 25th was National Suicide Awareness Day, Bell Let's Talk Day, and the 2 year anniversary of my very first suicide attempt. And so my friends and I walked around campus giving out free hugs for mental health, spreading the word about The Tipping Point and suicide awareness.

One of the highlights of this month was my meeting with UBC's Vice President Students, Louise Cowin. For two weeks coming up to this meeting, I lived in paralyzing anxiety. Despite my efforts to appear open to collaboration, I didn't know what the university thought of me and my movement. I was a publicly announced UBC dropout. Tens of thousands of people have read my story about how the education system failed me. It would've been understandable and valid for the UBC administration to dismiss or ignore me, but instead I walked out of that meeting crying of relief and gratitude. Louise congratulated me for my leadership and welcomed myself and The Tipping Point to the UBC community. I will now be moving forward in making more formal partnerships with UBC staff and faculty including the Wellbeing Promotions Office.

I've also started working on making 2017 my year of transformation. This year is about self-growth, self-love, and self-empowerment. I attended a workshop held by Vancouver Real podcast on hacking new years resolutions, hosted by The Habit Course. I met new friends at the second meetup of Vancouver Entrepreneurs of Passion & Purpose. I've been invited to take part in a campaign in attempts to reduce different types of stigmas, by the founder of Free Reign - a new local lifestyle brand. I also faced my fears and visited a friend at St. Paul's hospital who was admitted for mental health purposes. I have been avoiding visiting anyone at the hospital for many months now due to my personal traumas of my suicide attempts and the hospital aftermaths.

My mom also expressed love and gratitude towards my work with The Tipping Point and Tip Labs. Even 5 months ago, my parents didn't want to hear about what I was getting involved with. They left me to do my thing when I decided not to apply for jobs and take on my own project, but they didn't want to know anything about it. Especially if it was related to advocacy work that could negatively impact my mental health. But last weekend, my mom listened to a brief overview of Tip Labs and my work - and she said "wow, that's quite impressive." I almost cried of joy. To receive the acceptance and validation of your parents after years of disappointment is the feeling of love.